Hi all. Have you ever noticed that when younger children receive fancy toys, they’re usually more interested in playing with the box that it came in than the toy itself? It turns out that there’s a reason behind that madness! A new study suggests that you don’t need to entertain little children with elaborate toys and music classes, but rather with little rituals you can do at home with household objects. Researchers studied the attention spans of 7-to 8-month-old infants as they tried to figure out the world around them, and they found that the infants lost interest both when the learning activities became too complicated or too unpredictable.
What learning activities are best for babies?
I really loved this study because it helps me understand why my younger children are perfectly content just puttering around the house, whereas with my older children, I have to search high and low for activities that will interest them! My younger children are absolutely content with not doing any organized activity in particular, so it really makes me wish that I could get my money back for all those fancy toys and classes. Learning activities for babies can be as simple as using little odds and ends around your house!
My girls just so happen to looooove playing with my bras. My bras have a little padding for extra support, so I’ll just lay my bras (“mattresses” that I wear in my shirt, as my daughters would say) on my bed and my daughters will poke and prod at them to their heart’s content. In addition to that, you can also entertain your little ones by giving them an old cellphone. I had an old Blackberry that I surrendered to my children, and it provides them with hours of entertainment. Just remember to take the battery out so that you don’t have any embarrassing phone calls!
This study also found that this stage of cognitive development in babies — the “Goldilocks effect” as they call it — just means that they can be stimulated with very simple, inexpensive activities. Long story short, when Christmas rolls around and you find your little one playing with the wrapping paper instead of that expensive toy, don’t be worried — they just have to grow into it.
Check out my video to see what other simple, household items I use to entertain my babies. Have you found a simple activity that your children just love? Tell me below!
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